Ale brings out a big crowd for Medina businesses

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – J.T. Thomas was among the 750 people who bought tickets to sample beer throughout downtown Medina on Saturday.

MEDINA – When the Medina Business Association first started Ale in Autumn in 2009, the organization hoped an event with beer tastings would bring in a few outsiders and get more locals to visit Medina merchants.

Ale and Autumn has done far more than that. It quickly sells its 750 tickets, and creates a buzz on Main Street.

“It’s about people coming together and spending the day together,” said J.T. Thomas, a local DJ who helps promote the event. He was an eager participant on Saturday, sampling 30 different beers at locations mostly in the downtown business district.

“This shows off our town and gets people going into all of our historic spots and our businesses,” Thomas said. “We’re trying to keep more things in the village, which is a special place.”

Ale in Autumn attracted many participants from outside Medima on Saturday, including this group, from left: Bob Slocum from Syracuse, Bill and Rosemary Rausch of Middleport, Joe Moll of Barker and Dottie Barr of Middleport. They are pictured inside The Bread Basket.

The event is a fund-raiser for the Medina Business Association. It uses proceeds to help pay for banners, the downtown sound system, bike racks, flower barrels and other projects.

Rollie Phillipps, co-owner of The Book Shoppe, poured beer and mingled with customers on Saturday. He was surprised how many from outside Medina were in town for the event.

“It’s good for the merchants because it gets people in the store,” he said. “A lot of the people say Medina has a lot going for it.”

Dottie Barr of Middleport joined several friends in sampling the beers. She has been to Ale in Autumn three times, and also comes to Medina for Wine about Winter, which features wine tastings.

“They’re both fun,” she said about the events. “You see people you don’t normally see and you see businesses you don’t normally see.”

Each participant in Ale in Autumn received a souvenir glass.